Friday, 30 September 2016

The Me and Mine Family Portrait Project - September 2016

I have to admit that September may have run away a bit for me. I'm sitting here writing this at half past eight this morning after watching lots of lovely family snaps from fellow bloggers fill my timeline. I can't quite believe that today is the very last day of September just as much as I can't quite believe how fast it has come around.

September has been a month of change for us, all good changes, but changes that we are still trying to get used to together. Adam dropped some hours at his second job meaning that we both have more time to invest in to what we really love doing the most, Adam with his Lego business and me with writing this blog and creating my videos. It's made things easier despite the fact that I was so unorganised with this post this month, but that really is due to not expecting the month to fly by so quickly.

Ethan started pre-school this month and that's been a big change for us. We moved him from two mornings a week at nursery, to a proper school environment where he goes for three half days. He absolutely loves it and we have the best feeling about the school, but Ethan has had to get used to not napping during the day on the days he goes there and it's been quite tough on him in that respect. I think that Ethan, although he has settled in so well already, needs to adjust to pre-school life properly. He's growing up a bit and he realises it. But with that brings this new found independence and with that it often brings the 'I don't want or need to listen to you anymore'. But we expected this and we think it will take a couple of months for him to adjust to the huge change that is starting in a brand new school environment.

Preparing a Child to Move House

Childhood is full of milestones, taking their first steps, their first teeth, his or her first haircut and, of course, the first day of nursery, and then school. All of these are important points of your child’s life that come with a special set of challenges. Another of those big moments in a childs life is moving house and today I am sharing some ideas on how best to prepare your child before moving day.

Keep your stress levels low
According to a recent poll 61% of Brits categorised moving home as the most stressful event in their life. Recognising the fact that moving is hard, and doing everything you can to keep stress levels as low as possible is essential. If you do not want your children to worry too much about moving, you need to present a calm front. A good estate agent and financial advisor will help you to do this.
A good estate agent will quickly give you the information you need to make an informed decision and choose a great home for your family. There is no need to eat into playtime by spending hours searching online to find out which areas within your price range have the best schools. A good estate agent will tell you this almost instantly. York estate agents have got a good reputation and are said to be extremely professional and accommodating.
Prepare your child 
Telling your child that you are moving is important. They need time to adjust to the fact that there is a big change in their lives coming up. But, you don't want to worry them unnecessarily, so it is probably best to wait until you are reasonably sure that the move will take place before raising the subject. That way you will be in a position to answer many of their most important questions. Most kids focus on whether they will still be able to see friends and family, and what their room, garden and the park is like. 
Get your children involved
Moving is exciting, as well as stressful, after all it is a fresh start. Convey this fact to your children and get them involved if you can. There are many ways to do this.
For example, letting them pack soft furnishings, and add scrunched up newspaper to boxes to protect items is a safe way to get them involved. If you are planning to decorate when you move, getting the kids involved in choosing how their room will look is usually a good idea.
Get some help
Packing, re-directing your mail, getting the finances in place, and a long list of other tasks is going to eat into your time. It is important to be realistic about what needs to be done, and get as much help as you can. If you can afford to do so, use a removals firm.
Arranging for your children to be looked after by someone else on moving day is always a good idea. It will allow you to focus and get on with things.

Wednesday, 28 September 2016

Living With Anxiety

I really hate dealing with anxiety, I REALLY hate it.

I don't struggle with anxiety all of the time, like right now as I sit here and write this, I'm OK. I feel good, content, at ease. I don't feel bad about myself, I'm not overly worried about anything. I'm chilled, calm and relaxed.

But then I have days like Sunday, where I feel awful and it's all totally out of the blue. It's like it's almost like a roll of a dice how I'm going to wake up feeling sometimes. Though I know it's maybe more to do with certain triggers than a dice roll.

On Sunday all I could feel was low self-esteem, panic, worry, nervousness, negativity. And no matter what I did, I just couldn't shake those feelings. I was at home, nothing had happened, I was in my place of comfort with my boys. But for some reason I just felt all out of place, like I didn't belong, like I wasn't good enough. My chest was tight, my eyes were close to tears, my head was full of nothing but self-doubt. I held it together for as long as I could before I burst out crying, my breathing got heavier and I felt like I was panicking. It was horrible and it was hard trying to hide it from the boys.

Tuesday, 27 September 2016

5 Ways To Make Family Home Improvements More Affordable

The cost of raising children is not small is it? I feel very fortunate that Adam and I were able to save up and afford our recent loft conversion and bedroom makeovers this year. It certainly wasn't easy saving up for the work for the house when so much of our money goes towards raising our boys. Today on my blog I am working with Windor to share 5 ideas of ways to make home improvements more affordable for families.

1. Look for second hand furniture that's cheaper and that you can potentially upcycle
So my first idea is around looking for second hand furniture via places like Gumtree, eBay or Freecycle. I've seen some really nice pieces of furniture for sale on eBay that has sold for a great price to the buyer before. I have never done it myself, but I like the idea of up upcycling furniture and making it your own. I've seen it done before on a few other blogs and the result always leaves me so surprised as the finished piece of furniture always looks brand new. I think you'd need to be able to invest time on this, but if you've got the time, its seems to be a great way of saving money. 

2. Choose a new rug rather than replacing the flooring in a room 
If you want to replace the flooring in a room but your budget won't allow for it, maybe try adding a new rug to the room or replacing an existing one. This not only would give the room a bit of a new fresh clean look, but also distract from any marks/scratches or any other problems that there might be with the flooring until you can afford to replace it. 

Monday, 26 September 2016

Logan's Sleep Routine at 15 Months

Sleep! I always feel like I need more of it! I'm either getting old or it's just totally normal to feel like an undead zombie 24 hours of the day when you're a Mum to a 3 year old and a 1 year old. I'm only 28, so I'm sure it's the latter. There's literally not enough caffeine in the world to keep me running some days! 

Logan's done a lot of night time teething lately. I swear his teeth have this thing about only growing in the tiny hours of the morning - I reckon they must be nocturnal teeth.

15 month old sleep routine

Sunday, 25 September 2016

The Stories Behind Our Names

I love finding out the stories behind the names of things, be it people, businesses or animals. Whatever it is - it's usually quite interesting hearing how names have come about. 

My own full name is Alexandra and apparently I was named after a Queen by my real Dad, who wasn't really in my life much. He had two other girls, my half sisters on his side and he named them after former Queens too, their names are Anne and Victoria. I don't have a middle name, I'm not really sure why.

My Mum gave her other children middle names but maybe she thought Alexandra sounded long enough!
I've always found it rather amusing that when you look the meaning of my name up it says protector/defender of man/men. And then you look Adam's up and his means 'Man'. That's got to be fate eh?

Saturday, 24 September 2016

Talking About Goals - What Are Mine?

I'll be 30 in under two years and that seems a little bit crazy to me.. I'm really not saying that 30 is old, I don't think it is. But I just don't feel anywhere near 30. When I was a 10 year old little girl I thought that 18 was so mature .. and now look at me.. I'm ten years past there! 

I've never ever sat down and written a list of goals for myself, I'm not sure why. It's just not something I've ever done. I think (unfortunately) I tend to keep a lot of things in my head instead. But I think I've reached a point in my life where I am looking to the future (whilst still enjoying the present). Becoming a Mother has helped me to realise who I am and what I want from life so much more and whilst finding things I love and that make me happy was the start, growing those things and working on them are what make up my goals. 

So for the first time ever I've written a list of ten goals for the next 12 months, the list only covers the basics, it doesn't cover how I want to reach those goals, but it already feels so much better to have at least my main goals written down. 

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